Darren's Restaurant & Bar
1141 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266Neighborhood:
Manhattan Beach / Hermosa Beach
CalifornianPrice: $31 to $50
Darren's Restaurant & Bar
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.darrensrestaurant.com/
- Phone: 3108021973
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm; Closed Sundays
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Californian
- Executive Chef: Darren Weiss
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wine
- Catering: Private Parties and Off-site catering are available. Contact Bart Thompson for details.
- Private Party Facilities: Private party booking is available.
- Private Party Contact: Bart Thompson 3106869069
A word from Darren's Restaurant & Bar
Inspired cooking presented by friendly, attentive servers rewards dedicated foodies and wine aficionados at this beautifully designed, comfortable space located in the heart of charming Manhattan Beach, just steps away from famous picturesgue Manhattan Beach pier. Executive Chef and owner, Darren Weiss, classically trained graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and finest restaurants and hotels, uses the finest ingredients, mainly locally grown and organic. Our knowledge staff proudly serves an award-winning, extensive wine list selected from reowned and boutique wineries. In addition, our full service bar offers popular brand name and craft beers and some of the most creative and exciting cocktails in L.A. County, created by Manager Bart Thompson and his staff.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Darren's Restaurant & Bar - Best Restaurants in Manhattan Beach / Hermosa Beach ›
Darren's Restaurant & Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
54 reviews since May 5, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelEnergetic
fit for foodies (35)neighborhood gem (31)special occasion (19)romantic (14)vibrant bar scene (14)notable wine list (13)good for groups (8)hot spot (7)late-night find (3)great for outdoor dining (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- A great spotDaveHVIPDined on 8/28/2014Comfortable environment, great service and outstanding food. Everything was flavorful, tasteful and satisfying. The new layout adds a lot to the overall experience. This will certainly be a favorite for us. So go forth and enjoy Darren's.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCE!!!DonnaMarieDined on 8/25/2014We highly recommend this restaurant. The salmon, short rib and seafood pasta dish were superb! Darren is always visible and takes great pride in his fine restaurant. They recently opened the ceiling and expanded the restaurant to accommodate larger parties. GO THERE....you will be delighted!Special Features:
- MargaretDined on 8/21/2014We are fans of Darren's and recently dined there following the revamp of their dining room and menu. The food is excellent and the service friendly, helpful and attentive. The new menu includes small plates and a greater variety of entrees than many restaurants seem to offer. There are always interesting choices and pairings to be had, and nice twists to familiar favorites. The atmosphere is convivial and fun, but you can actually have a conversation without shouting. Also, Darren is always there - he is quick to stop by and check on your meal or offer a comment or suggestion. I once ordered, "Bring me whatever the chef thinks is best tonight" - app, entree and dessert - and had an incredible meal. There's just a good vibe here.Special Features:
- Enjoyable UpscaleJaxChesterDined on 8/21/2014I was there for my birthday on a Thursday night. They had just finishing their remodel so it looked larger than when I was last, which had an intimate appeal. Although it is now larger, it now has a little crowded look in the area where they remodeled. Also, I did not really appreciate the noise level that night. It may have been the customers around me, but I think the management may well intend it to have a bar like atmosphere. The food was delicious and there were changes to it since I last ate there. However the scallops were a bit too salty, as it was the last time. Overall, I like this place and I will return on a night hopefully not so noisy.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/18/2014We enjoyed the 'new' Darren's. Several menu items we would like to try on a future visit. Very generous cocktails.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mixed reviewHbchgrlDined on 8/16/2014The salmon was fabulous but we were disappointed in other choices. The seared ahi had some type of fat or something running down the middle, making it impossible to cut. We had high expectations for the Mac and cheese but it was lacking in cheese flavor. Very bland. I've been before and enjoyed it. It was also extremely loud because it was crowded - they could use something for acoustics.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Place In Manhattan BeachChudReviewDined on 8/12/2014First impression of Darren's. Hostess meets you outside the door on Manhattan Avenue. A very modest intro to an extraordinary culinary experience in a low key yet stylish setting. The first impression is the mixed aroma of the food. Service was attentive without hovering. Our waiter really knew the menu and wasn't shy about sharing his opinions ("you gotta try the lollipop kale"). Salads are amazing. Making choices from the entrée menu is hard, so the small plate option is welcome. Had the duck confit - perfection. Kobe sliders, hangar steak, seafood orzo -- all came with subtle flavorful preparations without the overpowering sauces of a lot of fusion places. Oh, and the lollipop kale was delightful.Special Features:
- WAY TOO LOUDOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 8/9/2014WAY TOO LOUD. The food was good. Because i need to write a review o 50 characters or more, did i mention that it was WAY TOO LOUD?Special Features:
- FriendlyDinerDined on 8/4/2014Great food and great service. The owner, waitress and bartender were all really friendly and gave us excellent service!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What ????OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 8/2/2014Found myself having to say that a lot in the extremely noisy space! Bummer, wasnt that way before the remodel! And it was so warm...why didnt they make the new windows moveable??? That doesnt make sense to me.... We'll go back, but we'll only sit at the bar.
- Wanted the food to be bettermyorryVIPDined on 7/31/2014Everything we ordered was executed appropriately and nothing was horrible but the food lacked flavor. The Jidori chicken should have come with a more flavorful sauce, instead it had a bland aioli. The cheese bread was okay, just a dinner roll with cheese melted on top, nothing amazing. The Hamachi was the best dish we had of the evening and even that was just a 7 on a scale of 10. I'm not sure why they call it a Kale "lollypop", it was just some sautéed Kale, not very exciting. Overall, nothing to really complain about but would definitely not go back for the food.Special Features:
- Nice findBethyZVIPDined on 7/24/2014I was in town on business and was looking for someplace away from my LAX hotel to eat. I went on Open Table & saw Darren's. Couldn't have made a better choice! It was easy to find, in a great location & the food was delicious!! Every choice on the well curated menu sounded wonderful. I selected the scallops & a Caesar Salad. The salad presentation was a new take on a classic w/ a unique & flavorful dressing. The scallops were perfectly cooked & served w/ a wonderfully creamy porcini risotto & deliciously seasoned braised leeks. The service was lovely & the atmosphere cozy & comfortable. I will definitely be recommending Darren's to my LA friends & returning again on my next visit!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love the food and service!JimcaltiusVIPDined on 7/24/2014New retro looks really good though noise is an issue. Need to figure that out somehow as we will consider alternatives on a crowded night. Would also have windows you could open on the street side as it felt stuffy and somewhat confined against the windows.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Updated restaurant & menuLesliehaneyDined on 7/17/2014Just reopened and terrific. Tapas styled menu now. Some of the old greats still on the menu. Old patio enclosed with a communal table. As with tapas menus, your bill grows large quickly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 7/12/2014Best restaurant in the south bay. Best food and service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding redolarznikVIPDined on 7/11/2014Went to Darren's for the opening night after the recent "redo." The "New Darren's" sports a more open floor plan and a refreshed menu with many of the old favorites repackaged into smaller sharable plated. The New Darren's is a better version of the old.Special Features:
- Wonderful local restaurantDiningDocsVIPDined on 6/27/2014Top notch food and service always await at Darren's. We are proud of this local chef! Our sole complaint is the high mark ups on wine. Even by L.A. standards the mark ups are steep.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Too expensive for the qualityBarbasharkuDined on 6/26/2014In as few a words as possible so-so. The steak was great everything else was lacking. We had 3 appetizers and 3 desserts.
- Darren's is greatJayfromHermosaVIPDined on 6/9/2014Had the rock shrimp ravioli and the crispy quail. Both were excellent! Bottle of half price Cakebread Chardonnay which is the Monday special. While the patio is under construction the restaurant itself is working great.Special Features:
- DissappointedsammiecakesDined on 5/23/2014We chose this restaurant as our high end dinner on Fri evening and were disappointed on a few fronts. We sat on the patio which was nice and quiet but the way the table was situated all three of us were sitting in a row which made it hard for conservation. The food was ok for the price, nothing to write home about. The service was absolutely terrible. The server was rude and when delivering drinks dropped them on the table and had some of my drink spilled into a $25 appy we have just gotten! I am usually pretty easy going when it comes to busy restaurants etc but when you look at the overall experience compared to the cost of the food and the way the server treated us, its pathetic... Chose another restaurant if you can.
- Worth the splurge!BreckyDined on 5/9/2014Great menu choices. From apps to dessert, you can't miss! My halibut melted in my mouth and my boyfriend's bone in filet (yes, bone in filet -- quite unique) was to die for. Both of our meals were the specials but the reg menu had great choices too. An added bonus is no corkage when you bring in wine from Friends of the Vine and a two other local places. Our waiter also helped make our dining experience enjoyable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 383 reviews are from the Darren's Restaurant & Bar reviews archive.
- Another Amazing meal at Darren's!!jonathanVIPDined on 4/18/2014Bart welcomed my wife and I, Jonathan the bartender cam and said hello...food was amazing...we love Darren's...hands down our favorite dining experience in the South Bay! Cheers!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful dinner!CorishaDined on 4/15/2014I took my husband here for his birthday. He wanted fish. He had the Shetland Salmon. Let me tell you, my husband is a salmon snobe! He took one bite and closed his eyes in shear happiness! Everything was outstanding. I had the Chilean Sea Bass. Huge portion. I can never finish a meal, but not this time...I had to stay as long as it took to eat the whole thing. The presentation was also outstanding. The flavors were so vibrant. Each spice complemented the other. The salad was to die for! Beautiful ambience Highly recommend. My husband ordered a drink that he wasn't very happy with, they took it back immediately and made a recommendation that was spot on! It was a wonderful birthday dinner!Special Features:
- Darren's still great!JayfromHermosaVIPDined on 4/15/2014Tuesday Prix Fixe special was great! Wonderful service and menu. Great salads and apps as well.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lived up to its reputationLADineVIPDined on 3/29/2014This was the first visit to Darren's after receiving a recommendation from a work friend. The chowder was unbelievable and the salmon was superb. Jessica was our server and she was really wonderful - cool, comfortable and smiling! I would say the people at Darren's just get it!Special Features:
- sorta disappointedParskiVIPDined on 3/20/2014I live in MB and was taking a client and her husband out to dinner. Trying to decide where was a challenge... There are lots of great restaurants in town. I didn't want to go too trendy or loud. I just wanted great food. So I chose Darren's. Entrees can easily get in to the 30's and 40's. My husband had halibut (the special of the evening). It wasn't until the next day he said how disappointed he was - it was overcooked. The next day, my client mentioned that his halibut was also dry. (The wife had the scallops and she said they were awesome.) They said felt bad for me because they could see the menu prices…. We ordered 2 glasses of wine and 2 cocktails. The bill was 350.00. Sorta disappointed and won't be racing to go back.
- Worth the wait...RickHDined on 2/27/2014For months now I've been wanting to try Darren's. But, each time, the opportunity fell on a Sunday (they're closed on Sundays). Finally, given the chance, we visited on a Friday evening. The food and the service were wonderful. It was a little loud and the tables were a bit close together, but, overall, the experience was wonderful. We'll definitely return in the future. Oh, reservations are a must!Special Features:
- Great food & cocktailsnnovikVIPDined on 2/27/2014...with super service. The hostess/waitress gave us great advice without being pushy, really knew the wine list and menu. Food was all good, just a really nice meal. Quail appetizer especially good. Also the crime brûlée (basic but beautiful execution).Special Features:
- Everything is awesomeshrnrDined on 2/26/2014Especially the truffled baked potato gnocchi appetizer. That alone would bring me back. Also, our waitress was excellent. Really enjoyed her.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExcellentJulieLVIPDined on 2/19/2014The best food in Manhattan Beach. We are transplanted New York food snobs, and while we do enjoy some of the other local restaurants, Darren's is truly head and shoulders above the rest. It's not about the scene, it's about exquisite food. Perfection every time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Yelp Reviewers were right onMDBROOKSDined on 1/27/2014We went to Darren's after the great Yelp reviews. It didn't let us down. Everything was wonderful and we can't wait to go again!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always good foodRushDined on 1/17/2014Fish is always good and the lobster chowder is the best!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food was impeccable. Atmosphere ok.abcproductionsDined on 1/3/2014There were four of us. We ordered two crab cakes and the Ahi Poke for appetizers. These crab cakes are NOT your ordinary crab cakes. The are the MOST DELICIOUS crab cakes you may ever encounter. We had chicken, duck and pork. All three dishes were nothing less than outstanding. This chef is a true professional and at the top of his game. The atmosphere was loud because of the bar area. There is not much square footage in the place. The negative is the bar area is way too loud and it ruins the dining ambience and overall atmosphere.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Exceeded ExpectationsMarkNickDined on 1/2/2014WE stumbled onto Darren's while driving from Hermosa Beach to Playa del Rey. The quality of the food was off the charts! All dishes has robust flavors. The service we received from Jessica was second to none. We will be back, and absolutely recommend Darren's.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best New Year's Eve Meal EverKansasGirlDined on 12/31/2013We had New Year's Eve reservations, but after doing touristy things all day, we were beat. We stopped by early to see if we could get in a little earlier. We were told that as soon as the bar was set up and the kitchen prep was done, they could accomodate us. So we went back around 5:00 and we were treated like royalty. The manager, bar tender, wait staff and even Darren gave us special care and attention to make sure our dinner was the best New Year's Eve dinner ever.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- tastybillyDined on 12/16/2013excellent menu and monday night is 50% off wine ! the food is great. i enjoyed the chowder. the wine list is very solid. the service was almost as good as the food. but i would definitely go backSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Manhattan Beach Gem!DollyLamaDined on 12/14/2013My wife and I had dinner at Darren's this past weekend and absolutely loved it. The menu is terrific and our choices were truly exceptional and the service couldn't have been better. The wine by the glass is good and reasonably priced. Unlike so many places with ridiculous noise levels (e.g., MB Post and Little Sister), the noise level at Darren's is just moderate and allows for normal conversation. We rate Darren's as among the top 3 restaurants in the South Bay, having lived and dined here for over 15 years. Bravo!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always wonderful!HermosaBobDined on 12/13/2013Quality ingredients, great preparation, attentive, non-intrusive service...Doesn't get much better! If dining in Manhattan Beach this is the best choice.Special Features:
- Great placeOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 12/12/2013First time here. We arrived 45 minutes early and they were able to accommodate. The chef is the owner and he came out to check on us several times, even clearing our table. He was great, food was excellent. Loved the lobster soup. I am going back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My Dinner at Darren'sManhattanbeach18thDined on 12/12/2013I had a good dinner at Darren's, however it was over the top expensive for what they serve. We have so many great restuarants In Manhattan Beach, I doubt that I will go back there again.